Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For August 24, 2016

TEAMSTERS

City’s Commercial Sanitation Industry Reform Plan Follows Release of New Study  Labor Press  ...Sean Campbell, President of Teamsters Local 813, which represents private sanitation workers in New York City, said, “I hope this will raise standards across the board, especially wages and safety. I believe it will put carters’ wage standards on an even playing field. Also, for far too long, [these companies] have operated equipment that is unsafe. We have been working on this behind the scenes for about two years"...

Schnucks bans solicitors including Girl Scouts, Salvation Army at stores  Post-Dispatch  ...Teamsters Local 688, which represents the laid-off workers, has boycotted Schnucks stores in recent months and union workers have set up informational pickets outside Schnucks stores. In May, the Teamsters filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, arguing that if others including the Girl Scouts and Salvation Army are allowed to stand in front of Schnucks stores, its union members should also be allowed...

Ontario Paramedics To Receive Mental Health Support in the Workplace  Local 362  ...The province’s government has said that it will put $200,000 to ‘a program developing a psychological health and wellness standard for paramedics across Canada.’ Teamsters Local 362  and Teamsters Canada have created ‘Make It Mandatory’ mental health campaigns to make mental health resources mandatory in every workplace across Canada...

Union: Vote Is Protection Measure  Bonner Daily Bee  ...Bonner General Health nurses recently voted to approve a strike authorization, but according to Val Holstrom with the Teamsters Local 690 in Spokane, it is strictly a protection measure for the nurses. "It is not our intention to go on strike or to call a strike," said Holstrom, secretary and treasurer with the Teamsters... 

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

London bus strike: Workers to stage two 24-hour walkouts  Evening Standard  ...Members of Unite at bus operator Tower Transit will walk out on Friday and again on Monday after voting by 9-1 to back action. Unite said around 1,000 drivers, engineers and other workers are involved in the dispute - affecting 28 routes in the capital. Regional officer Simon McCartney said: "Tower Transit bus workers have reached breaking point over an increasingly belligerent management who have turned their back on constructive consultation and dialogue"...

Brazil Foreign Ministry Workers Launch First Indefinite Strike  TeleSUR  ...Workers from Brazil’s Foreign Ministry entered the second day of the union's first indefinite strike Tuesday for higher wages and to protest the intransigence of “interim” Foreign Minister Jose Serra in the face of the union’s demands. The strike kicked off Monday at 12:00 p.m. local time in Brasilia after over 1,300 workers of the National Union of Public Servants of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs voted earlier this month to greenlight the labor stoppage, union statements indicated...

Controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact stalling despite Obama push  IBTimes  ...Chances have all but vanished for passage of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact despite a huge last-ditch effort by US President Barack Obama and an upcoming trip to Asia to tout the deal. The White House had been hopeful about nailing down the unprecedented trade agreement with 11 Pacific-Rim nations aimed at strengthening economic ties, cultivating trade and cutting back on tariffs...

Growing protest against TTIP and CETA trade agreements in Germany  DW.com  ...Various trade unions and other groups have called for protests against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) across Germany on September 17. An alliance consisting of various public organizations across Germany said they expected hundreds of thousands of protesters to take to the streets in several German cities to rally against plans to move forward with two key international trade agreements...

Democrats, unions rally against Obama trade deal  The Detroit News  ...Michigan Democrats and union leaders on Tuesday rallied against the Trans Pacific Partnership, arguing the 12-country trade deal backed by President Barack Obama could cost the state jobs. The TPP, which would require congressional approval, has emerged as a lightning rod on the campaign trail. Obama is expected to make a final push for ratification following November elections...

Nobel prize winner Stiglitz calls TPP 'outrageous'  CNN  ...Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says it's "absolutely wrong" for the U.S. to pass the trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It will only help big corporations, not American citizens, he says. "The advocates of trade said it was going to benefit everyone. The evidence is it's benefited a few and left a lot behind," Stiglitz told CNN...

Brigadier General: TPP is a threat to America's national security  Boing Boing  ...Retired Brigadier General John Adams served for 30 years, including a stint as a military intelligence officer. In an op-ed in The Hill, he says that while he supports trade deals, the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade, and will hasten America's de-industrialization, making it harder for the US military to source the materiel it needs...

The last country to abolish slavery is jailing its anti-slavery activists  Quartz  ...Thirteen anti-slavery campaigners were sentenced for up to 15 years in prison in Mauritania last week, for their role in a protest aimed at denouncing the practice of slavery in the country. Mauritania is the world’s last country to abolish slavery, and the country didn’t make slavery a crime until 2007. The practice reportedly affects up to 20% of the country’s 3.5 million population...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Massachusetts Is Going to Tax Uber to Subsidize the Taxi Industry  Slate  ...The news that Massachusetts has passed a new 20 cent tax on every trip ordered through ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft is a good omen for the companies. The new levy was included in a wider regulatory bill that will, among other things, institute a two-step background-check process for drivers and create a new division within the state government to oversee the companies... 

Illinois Governor Fights For The Right To Make Inmates Pay For Prison  Think Progress  ...Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) is working to ensure his administration can keep suing inmates to recoup the cost of their stays in jail. After the Chicago Tribune brought some abusive room-and-board lawsuits to light last fall, state lawmakers hashed out a tense compromise over legislation to shield inmates. But on Friday, Rauner sent the bill back to the legislature...

California Lawmakers Revive Farmworker Overtime Bill  ABC  ...California's state Senate on Monday revived a bill that would make the state the first in the United States to give farmworkers the same overtime pay as people who work in other industries, a last-ditch effort to reverse a nearly 80-year-old practice of exempting field hands from wage rules. The provision passed with only Democratic support after a debate over whether it would help or hurt an estimated 829,000 people who work on California farms...

More Than 180,000 Virginians Still Can’t Vote A Month After Governor Promised To Restore Rights  Think Progress  ...Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has not kept the bold promise he made in July to sign 200,000 individual clemency grants in two weeks, to allow Virginians with felony records be able to vote this November. On Monday, nearly a month later, McAuliffe announced that he had restored the rights of nearly 13,000 ex-offenders who had already tried to register to vote, but whose registrations were nullified by the Virginia Supreme Court...

Judges Across The Country Are Shaking Down Poor People  Think Progress  ...All 50 states and Washington, D.C. have laws that say filing fees should be waived for indigent litigants — anyone too poor to afford them — so that they can still access the courts. But there’s a lot of disagreement about who counts as “poor.” Five states have the clearest boundaries...

Inside the Conservative Push for States to Amend the Constitution  NY Times  ...Taking advantage of almost a decade of political victories in state legislatures across the country, conservative advocacy groups are quietly marshaling support for an event unprecedented in the nation’s history: a convention of the 50 states, summoned to consider amending the Constitution. The groups are an amalgam of free-market, low-tax and small-government proponents, often funded by corporations and deeply conservative supporters like the billionaire Koch brothers...

 

U.S. LABOR

Southwest Labor Acrimony Threatens Fun-Loving Family Reputation  Bloomberg  ...Employees are showing up for picketing like never before and waving anti-Southwest placards. Unions representing more than two-thirds of the workforce called on Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly to step down this month, and the carrier’s head of labor relations announced his retirement late Tuesday. Contract talks have dragged on for years even as Southwest posted record profits...

Georgia’s Flowers at center of jobs dispute  My AJC  ...Flowers Foods, the south Georgia mega-baker of Tastykake and Wonder Bread, is the target of nearly two dozen lawsuits, including one filed in Atlanta, claiming illegal hiring practices that prevent truck drivers from earning tens of millions of dollars in overtime pay. The lawsuits, with over 200 plaintiffs, say Flowers “misclassifies” drivers who deliver its breads, snacks and tortillas to stores, cafeterias and restaurants...

U.S. Labor Board: Graduate Students at Private Colleges Can Unionize  Reuters  ...Columbia University graduate students who work as research and teaching assistants can form a union, the U.S. labor board ruled on Tuesday, opening the gates for graduate student organizing on private campuses all over the country. In a 3-1 vote, the National Labor Relations Board said that graduate students working as academic assistants are employees who get organizing rights under federal labor law...

State System, faculty still working to get accord without strike  Post Gazette  ...Faculty union representatives are to decide via conference call Thursday whether to schedule a strike authorization vote across Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities — even as students move into dorms for Monday’s start of fall classes. The planned call linking delegates from the 14 campuses coincides with the first of two days of talks in Harrisburg... 

New Rule From Obama Will Punish Contractors Who Cheat Or Endanger Workers  Huffington Post  ...With its time in the White House winding down, the Obama administration plans to add yet another executive order to its list on Wednesday ― one that will bar companies from receiving federal contracts if they recently violated labor laws. Known as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, the new regulation is meant to reward good actors and punish bad ones... 

Across the U.S., Workers at the Bottom of the Ladder Get Pay Raises  Wall Street Journal  ...U.S. companies are giving raises to more of the nation’s lowest-paid workers, and they are eager to trumpet the news. For Americans in the bottom quarter of the income scale, who were left behind for much of the expansion, pay is rising at the fastest rate since the recession...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Chicago's Inescapable Segregation  The Atlantic  ...Chicago holds the inglorious distinction of being one of the country’s most segregated cities. This is also the South Side’s legacy—and it encompasses its public schools. The stain of segregation bleeds into the most basic elements of black lives—from housing and health to food equality and educational opportunity—and no area exemplifies this like the neighborhoods that make up the South Side of Chicago...

If Trump’s New Immigration Plan Sounds Familiar, That’s Because Obama Is Already Enforcing It  Think Progress  ...Trump told O’Reilly that he would enforce “existing” federal immigration laws, promising to deport “gang members,” “killers,” and “a lot of bad people,” while allowing other people to “go through the process.” Trump even praised the president’s current deportation policies. “What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country, Bush the same thing,” he said...

With Voting Rights at Risk Across US, International Monitors Called to Help  Common Dreams  ...With the right to vote "more vulnerable now than at any time in the past 50 years," an American civil rights coalition is calling for an increase in international election monitors during the 2016 election. In a letter sent this weekend, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, comprised of more than 200 national organizations, urged the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to expand its election monitoring mission in the United States... 

Now That the Games Are Over, the Real Olympic Drama Begins in Rio  The Nation   ...Rio made it work with the help of the hard, thankless labor of thousands of people building the facilities in hyper-exploitative conditions and directing visitors throughout the city. Yet the story isn’t over. The full story goes beyond medals. It’s a story that is not only about the social cost of these games—the debt, displacement, and militarization that went into staging the spectacle...

Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation  Common Dreams  ...The impacts from climate costs alone, the report finds, are "comparable to Great Depression-era losses." The study employs a model developed by researchers from Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley that measures the effects of rising temperatures on long-term economic growth and national productivity drawing on 50 years of data from 166 countries...

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